It started with an unfinished poem…Heartland Hospice patient, Kathi Bell, was at a low time in her life, felt alone, uncomfortable, and chose- out of pride-, not to ask for help from the many family and friends who were more than willing. She was a registered nurse with strong faith and she felt that this would be the ultimate failure and defeat on her part.
Upon signing on to hospice services, Kathi shared with Heartland Social Worker, Tina Anderson, that she prayed to God and reflected on her situation. Some of her sadness was due to the fact that she didn’t have the resources for a service afterwards and wasn’t planning on having one.
After thinking about Kathi’s situation, Tina suggested that she do something that what would be more meaningful to her such as a celebration of life event. This would give Kathi a chance to enjoy time with family and friends. Kath’s response was, “it’s brilliant!” She knew the perfect place to have her event, her favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. With help from Michael Lando, Heartland Manager of Business Development, a date was set and a room was reserved at Red Lobster.
With new excitement, Kathi immediately began reaching out to friends and family, reconnecting with old co-workers, planning, sharing, reminiscing and opening up again. The entire event from suggestion to fulfillment enhanced Kathi’s quality of life. She was asked and agreed to do a speaking event for her former employer – New Life for Girls, and took one last weekend trip to her favorite place, Delaware beach with a good friend. Her faith had been renewed! “I told her that what appeared to be her darkest hour was simply when God planted her and now she’s blooming,” explained Tina.
The day of the event arrived and Heartland Hospice serving South Central Pennsylvania helped Kathi host her Celebration of Life party at Red Lobster. Kathi was able to celebrate and enjoy spending time with her family and friends. She was also able to complete her poem and share it with everyone who attended. At the end of the meal, Kathi graciously thanked all who attended:
“This Heart’s Desire gift and my heart’s desire was to celebrate my life with the many people that through the years have touched my heart. I have survived so much and it is because of people that God has sent over the years. I want to thank you all for being such a special part of my life. I do not have great wealth or power but I am rich with the blessings of God through all of you. You left footprints in my heart. Thank you!”